Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Amber Pancit Malabon, Pichi-Pichi and Pancit Puti

I know the holiday season is over and there aren't as many parties anymore but this post is about something you can have for parties -- there are parties other than Christmas parties, right? Well, I'm talking about pancit sa bilao.

One restaurant that makes pancit is Amber. It is known for The Original Pancit Malabon and Pichi-pichi. But they have other good products like their Spaghetti, Barbecue and Chicken Lollipop. 

Many like their pancit Malabon because of the big shrimp slices they add on top. It compliments that distinct Pancit Malabon taste. Their Pichi-pichi is good too. The one with cheese is loved by many but I like the original version which is the one with coconut. I heard they have a new variant - with honeyed peanut something that I have yet to sample. Their Spaghetti is well loved by Filipino kids. By that I think you already have an idea how it tastes.

I also like their Sotanghon Guisado. It reminds me of how pancit at hoome tastes.  But my recent favorite is Pancit Puti. It is like your regular pancit guisado but without that brown coloring which is obviously due to the use of soy sauce. You'll be surprised that even if it is "colorless" it is really tasty. I must admit though that I like the Pancit Puti of another store better than theirs. It has more of the garlic flavor that I'mlooking for.


I'm not sure of the branch in Makati (Filmore Street, Palanan - near Cash and Carry) is the original store but I knowit's been there since I started working in Makati during the late 90s. The nice thing about Amber is that they have "dine in", "take out" and "delivery" services. For inqquiries, call 884-8888. It's a call center so no need to look for the number of the branch near you.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

BonChon Breakfast Menu

I saw an ad announcing the Breakfast Menu of BonChon one night. I got intrigued by the picture so immediately the day after, I went to oneecom center (Mall of Asia complex) to try it out.

The Breakfast Menu includes the Breakfast Deluxe which has three versions. There's the Breakfast Deluxe with 2 spam slices, rice, 2 half slices of French toast, egg and a cup of coffee or a glass of juice. There's the Breakfast Deluxe with 2 Frankfurters, rice, 2 half slices of French toast, egg and a cup of coffee or a glass of juice. And there's the Breakfast Deluxe Combo where you have a slice of spam and a Franfurter, rice, 2 half slices of French toast, egg and a cup of coffee or a glass of juice. Breakfast Deluxe is priced at P169.

They also offer Breakfast Beef Bulgogi Ricebox and Breakfast Chops Ricebox which I think are the same as their anytime-of-the-day variety but with egg to make it breakfast-sy. Each variety is priced at P135 (P155 if you order coffee or juice).

They also have a variety of French Toast sandwiches (with patty, chops, Franfurter and spam). Prices range from P79 to P149 depending on the add-ons.

That day I ordered the Breakfast Deluxe Combo. I got surprised when my order was served because it only has 1 Frankfurter. I thought there were two based on the picture I saw thenight before. But when I looked at it again, there's really only one Frankfurter. It was just sliced (lengthwise) so it looked like two pieces (or at least to me).

Spam is good. They don't get credit for this though because they did pretty much nothing but slice the spam. The Frankfurter was tasty too but again, credit goes to whoever they got the Frankfurter from. The French  toast, however, is definitely theirs. Unfortunately, I wasn't very impressed by it. I don't know what I was looking for but in my opinion, something is missing. The syrup was too sweet too for my liking.

I wasn't really very satisfied with the meal. But it wasn't really bad also because I like spam. However, I feel the meals were priced too much. Breakfast meals at Jollibee or McDonald's are way more affordable and definitely more filling.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas

Many of you are now probably thinking of gifts to give your family and friends. I'm sure you've been to different bazaars like NOEL Bazaar at the World Trade Center or those in villages. There are a lot of things to find in bazaars.  Iknow because I've been to NOEL twice this week already. You can buy gifts for as low as P50. But if you want to give unusual gifts, then you have to really squeeze your creative juices to come up with something different.

Last December 2012 and December 2013, I posted blogs giving suggestions for unique gift ideas. You can check them out by clicking the links if you want some help. But I also have some new stuff here for you.

1. JARed. Mason jars are in these days. I'm sure you've thought of giving them as gifts. And I'm sure you've thought of different things to put inside them like cookies, candies, chocolates, etc. But my suggestion is to put cake inside. My cousin said she is thinking of putting no-bake cakes. My idea is to put refrigerator cake. I'm not gonna put here the recipe anymore coz I know most of you know that but my suggestion is about 'designing' the cake. Usually you put fruits in your ref cakes, right? For me, a good way would be to put your 'fillings' in neat layers.  After laying down the graham crackers (this is what is commonly used but I prefer using lady fingers or broas from Quezon) at the bottom and pouring the cream, put a layer of crushed nuts. Then lay down the next layer of crackers and cream then add fruits (canned fruit cocktail is good but I'd prefer dried fruits). Then repeat but this time put brown and white chocolate chips (the one used for ice cream toppings). Then repeat. Oh, but you can add a layer of strawberry jam. The sweet-sour taste would be a nice 'breaker' to the sweetness of the whole treat.

Aside from cake, you can simply put lambanog inside especially if you know the recipient likes to drink alcoholic bevergaes once in a while. There are colored lambanog being sold in large, long neck bottles. I think one bottle would fill two mason jars already.

2. TUBEd. If you are thinking of gifts to a group of people like your staff or friends in your book club or whatever, my suggestion would be to buy test tubes. Yes, the ones you used in your chemistry classes in high school. You can put different stuff inside like the lambanog I mentioned above. Or you can put mixed nuts instead. Just put ribbons and your done.

3. POTted. You can give your friends herbs like mint, oregano, basil, etc. Normally, you can buy in presentable pots so you'll just have to put ribbones and you're fine. But you can also transfer them to nicer pots that you can buy in stores. There are colorful ones actually.

So there. I hope that'll help. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tim Ho Wan, Glorietta

I had dinner with a friend last Friday at Tim HoWan in Glorietta. That branch opened Tuesday of last week only. I've been wanting to try Tim HoWan in Megamall but it was too far. I knew from different blogs that lines are long so I wasn't excited with the idea oftravelling far and then lining up after. So when the Glorietta branch opened, I immediately grabbed the chance.

When we arrived, the line was long. The nice thing is, even if you're there but one of your group members is not present, you will not be accommodated. And what's even nicer is line  moves fast -- for small groups, that is. If you're only 2 or 3,  you'll be seated fast. And later that night I understood the reason why. Service is really fast because there are many crew members. On the average, staff to table ratio is 1:4. I asked the waitress assigned to us the average number of customers they have per day. She said she doesn't know but she's sure there are a lot because normally, average staying time of suctomers is just 30 minutes.

We ordered the famous Baked Bun with BBQ Pork or more popularly known as Pork Buns. You'll get 3 pieces of buns per order. We ordered two. Boy, it was really good. It deserves the fame it is enjoying. The pork BBQ is very tasty. It's really worth the wait.....and the price. But what's even better is the bun it self. It is crispy like no other prok bun I've tried before. It's worth P170 only and it's very filling.

We also ordered another famous item on the menu - Rice with Chicken, Sausage and Mushroom. It's rice with topping of chicken, sausage and mushroom. It's placed on an aluminum cup that maintains its temperature. When they serve it,  they'll ask you if you'd want the sauce to be added to the cup -- I suggest you do because the sauce tastes good. The good taste of this meal is surprising since it looks really simple. The color is not really attractive and the ingredients aren't so outstanding or unique but boy, it tastes great. One serving is big enough for two unless you are really, really hungry. But we didn't know this so we actually ordered another rice meal -- the Pork Rib Rice. It's like steamed spareribs with sauce that's also good like the Rice with Chicken, Sausage and Mushrooms. It's spicy and I love it.

Those two meals together with the Pork Buns are very filling. But unfortunately, like what I said above, we didn't know this so we ordered actully even more. We ordered Prawn Dumpling and Spinach Dumpling. The Prawn Dumpling was real. I mean there are real shrimps in the dumplings. I'm telling you these dumplings are good.

Anyway, don't be afraid of the long lines. Try it. It's worth the wait.

 


NOEL Bazaar, Ilocos Empanada, Taiwan Sausage

I was supposed to write this post this morning but I got sidetracked by the news that Dr. Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho are planning to tie the knot. Apparently, Hayden Kho "unintentionally" gave away this news through  Boy Abunda's show. Naturally, media personalities were all agog about it. But when asked by a reporter about it, he declined to give a comment. Dr. Belo on the other hand said they are talking about it but she didn't give details. Anyway, it has nothing to do with this but post but Igot curious so....

So the real post it about the NOEL Bazaar 2014 happening now at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. It will be up to November 30. Anyway, I went there last night (Tuesday). I decided to go there that early because I know that not a lot of people are in a shopping mood already plus its a weekday so I know I'll have plenty of space to move about and enjoy "window shopping". True enough, there aren't a lot of people there. One can really walk freely along the aisles and look carefully at the stuff on sale.

My real purpose wasn't really to look for things to buy. My goal was to check out the food stalls. I had a blast looking at the different food stuff on sale. And I was very happy because there were two stalls selling Ilocos Empanada. I first tried Victoria's because they had more seats available. I had no idea which of the two is better so my only criterion was the availability of seats. I ordered double meat worht P 80. The lady at Victoria's asked me if I was willing to wait for about 5 minutes while they prepare my order. The regular variety is the one that's always available but I likedouble meat so I said I was willing to wait. In my mind, I  like that better because that would mean the empanada would be hot and crispy. When it was given to me, I had the strong urge to bite right away but I ha to control myself coz I new it was really hot. Hmmmm....it wasreally very good. The crust was very crispy. It wasn't very thick which is actually the way I want it. The meat is also delicious - very flavorful. And the vegetables are good as well. Of course any Ilocos Empanada would not be complete with the Sukang Iloko. It made the empanada even more yummy. I really took time to savor the goodness of the empanada. I normally eat fast but that time I took it real slow.

Aside from empanada, I was also looking for the stall that sells Taiwan Sausage. I tasted one some years ago but I didn't find any store that sells the same last year and the year before that. This year I was lucky. There's a store that sells Taiwan Sausages along with Roast Chicken. I ordered one (P 35) right after I ate the empanada. Sorry I couldn't resist. I was really trying to stop myself because I already made a decision that I will have another empanada before I go home that night. But I couldn't. Anyway, good thing I tried the sausage because it was tasty. I asked the guy at the counter if they have the coffee-flavored variety but he said he didn't know any. Well, the one that I tired before had that version. I was hoping I'd be able to sample that again but unfortunately it's not in their menu. But it's fine because at least Taiwan sausage is back.

Then I walked around to look at the goodies available. They are the usual stuff sold in bazaars but I noticed that there are less accessories stores now than before. There are also more stalls selling very affordable clothes like blouses for ladies that go as low as P 50. Then there's the stall that sells shoes for P350 and P300, men's and women's respectively. I've been buying shoes from them in last two years. The one I bought two years ago is an orange pair that I still use up to this day. It was priced at P350 but I was told if I'd buy two pairs, I could get it at P300 a pair. Last year, the tag says P350 also but I got mine at P300. That was on the last week of the NOEL Bazaar and many people were shopping that's why they probably took P50 off. Maybe they got tired of being asked for "tawad". The wekk after that, they were back for the World Christmas Bazaar. They were there again and the price was back at P350. Last night I asked for P50 off but the sales ladies said no. They said if the owner was there he could  probably give me a discount but he wasn't so I paid P350. I got a green pair.

Aside from the green pair of semi-high cut shoes Ialso bought the now-famous wire protector. It's the coiled wire that you coil around your cellphone charger or earphones to protect it. I got 6 protectors for P100. I got them in several colors. It's sad I didn't learn about the wire protector. If I did, I could have prevented the early departure of my Samsung earphone. Lol. It got cut when it got entangle with the zipper of my bag.

Anyway, let's go back to food. Here are the list of food available.
1. There are about three stalls that sell lechon - two of which offer the famous Lechon Cebu (there's Yobob's).
2. There are also several stalls that sell noodles (uncooked). All I think offer a pack for P100 (severals packs inside that hundred peso-pack). All offer "free-taste". Please don't judge me but I tried one.
3. There are sausage stalls too. I think there are 5.
4. Cupcakes and cookies are available in various stalls.
5. There's also one stall that sells packs of sardines and luncheon meat. If you're planning to donate to churches and charitable intitutions, you can buy here because they have some good deals.
6. packed biscuits, instant noodles, bottled condiments, etc.

But wait! Did I tell that I had the intention of eating another Ilocos Empanada? Well, I did. The plan was to go back toVIctoria's again since I liked their empanada anyway. But I felt the need to try the other one too so I could compare. So I also got double meat for the same price. When I ordered,  there was already one available. She got it from the rack where they put it to let the oil drip. It was still hot when the girl gave it to me so I thought it was probably newly prepared. What's nice was it was bigger than the first I tried. But I wasn't really as happy. The crust was not as crispy - it was thicker. The meat was good but the vegetables were overcooked. And when I reached the end (the bottom), it was too oily. It wasn't bad. In fact, if I didn't try the one at Victoria's before, this would have been good. I would have been satisfied. But hands down, Victoria's Ilocos Empanada was better.

I'll be at the NOEL Bazaar again tonight. I'll have that empanada again. Plus there are still several kinds of sausages to try, lol. Entrance is FREE Mondays toWednesdays. I hope it's still true next week.



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cheesecake Melliza

I do not have a sweet tooth. And I consider that as a blessing. Why? I guess because I'm afraid of diabetes. And I know if Ilike something, I can get "addicted" to it. But I do it sweets from time to time. And I crave for desserts once in a while.

One of my go-to places whenever I crave for sweets is Cheesecake Melliza. It is a small cake shop along Kamagong St. in Makati (San Antonio Village). It is near the corner of Pasong Tamo. They serve slices of cake at a reasonable price - less than a hundred per slice.  You can also order whole cakes for parties. It is nice to give as gift because it is not too expensive and not too "fast-foodie" like cakes from the two famous cake shops in Manila.

Check out the yummy cake slices below.






Monday, November 10, 2014

Commune - Where Adobo and Coffee Art Meet

A friend of mine invited me to dinner a few weeks back. She brought me to Commune found at the ground floor of Liberty Plaza, H.V. Dela Costa St. Slacedo Village, Makati City. I was confused when I saw the place because it did not look like a restaurant. It looked more like a cafe than a place to have dinner in. Anyway, once I saw the menu, I discovered that they serve both coffee (and other coffee shop items) and rice meals.

Commune has various meals categorized as All Day Breakfast, Meat & Poultry, Fish and Today's Harvest. The stuff under Meat & Poultry are mostly various versions of adobo. I opted for the Chicken Adobo sa Gata while my friend had the regular Pork Adobo. Both kinds were good but there was nothing really unique or outstanding about it.  And may I add, 2 small pieces of chicken is priced at P190. I think I can make a better Adobo sa Gata at a much cheaper price (sorry! I don't mean to brag).



What's really outstanding about Commune is their coffee art. I know other coffee shops offer cute coffee art but Commune's coffee art is different. They don't make 'flat' artwork. They do 3D coffee art. Amazingly beautiful. I almost did not drink my coffee.


The guy who does these amazing 3D coffee art at Commune.

Chitika